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Monday, April 24, 2017

Colder than Ice

The Beginning 

It is one of my best heart pulling stories. 
Does any subject perk an ear like an unrequited first love? 
You make the perfect villain. 
Even today the details sometime elicit an audible gasp. 
A story told in excruciating detail with all the crescendo of Bach, but not much of the grace. 
Eighteen years have not lessened the effect of the tale on me either. 
It is just as striking to new ears as when it eroded a canyon across my heart. 
I don't exaggerate...much. 
I tell it the way it went down, from the perspective of my living memory. 
It is not hard to navigate something when you are so close to its surface. 
When time has only made the canyons more distinct-- and more permanent. 
At least scars have to have healed in some way-- right? 
There were a few times that were amazing. 
There were a few times that almost were. 
There was that night that you and your new boyfriend kept me awake in the other room. 
Me drunk and not passed out enough on the couch to avoid the repeated sounds of my dream being lived and loved by someone else. 

The Middle 

This story has become my own Jefferson Memorial and Grand Canyon rolled into one. 
A scar and and an idea and a man. 
Larger than life.  
Longer than it ever needed to be. 
A testament to a dream. 
And something to be gawked at my tourists and visitors-- hearing the tale-- taking their photos
but eventually walking away to a new experience, new thought, new dream. 

The End 

I went back there the other night. 
I have been a few times. 
We even had an award lunch a few years ago. 
An odd scene for reasons I did not understand then, 
did not understand until last night. 
My greatest story passed 18 inches in front of me. 
Just like it was. 
A smiling face on the other side of that same damn bar. 
You even look the same. 
Maybe I do. 
Except that I am thinner. 
I know that I am older too. 
Wiser? Stronger? More Aware? 
Maybe.  Maybe Not. 
My greatest story-- 18 inches away
And not even a look, or a glance, or a hug or a how-ya-been. 
Whatever was is now not even strong enough to draw attention away from the ice bucket. 
It was then I realized, I was standing in a memorial. 
In a monument to a an idea.  To a dream. 
A cold stone edifice to something that was real, only for a moment. 
No more alive now than the ice that crashed into the slop sink. 

The Beginning 

It made me wonder, what do you call the person who never leaves the memory? 
Who lives among the cold granite. 
And tells others about it with the pride reserved for some great accomplishment
or success. 
He who lives clinging to the branches of the dead tree-- longing for the blooms of a spring that only ever lived in imagination. 
He who so desperately wants to have something to say. 
A story to tell. 
a sympathetic ear. 
On a deep midwest winter night, 
when the stars shown like diamonds.
In a place I have been so many times before
I came to know I am not the hero of my own story.  Yet. 
I am just one more victim, one more canyon, one more monument. 
A stop on the open air bus for the tourists to photograph
and then move on. 

I think it is time to tell a new story. 

(C) Christopher Blake Carver-- 2017 

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